A Long Way Down

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Or does he? As the elevator stops on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out, is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. Bigger huh. When they were eight. And stray bullets had cut through the playground, and Will had tried to cover her, but she was hit anyway, and so what she wants to know, on that fifth floor elevator stop, is, what if Will, Will with the gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, MISSES.

And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows.

Told in short, fierce staccato narrative verse, Long Way Down is a fast and furious, dazzlingly brilliant look at teenage gun violence, as could only be told by Jason Reynolds. He lives in Washington, DC.


You can find his ramblings at JasonWritesBooks. Fifteen-year-old Will, immobilized with grief when his older brother Shawn is shot and killed, slowly comes to mull The Rules in his head. The poetry is stark, fluently using line breaks and page-turns for dramatic effect; the last of these reveals the best closing line of a novel this season.

Yet, the simple seven-floor descent becomes a revelatory trip.

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He peels back the individual stories that led to this moment in the elevator and exposes a culture inured to violence because poverty, gang life, or injustice has left them with no other option. In this all too real portrait of survival, Reynolds goes toe-to-toe with where, or even if, love and choice are allowed to exist. Though the African-American teen has never held one, Will leaves his apartment with his brother's gun tucked in his waistband. As he travels down on the elevator, the door opens on certain floors, and Will is confronted with a different figure from his past, each a victim of gun violence, each important in his life.

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They also force Will to face the questions he has about his plan. As each "ghost" speaks, Will realizes how much of his own story has been unknown to him and how intricately woven they are.

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Told in free-verse poems, this is a raw, powerful, and emotional depiction of urban violence. The structure of the novel heightens the tension, as each stop of the elevator brings a new challenge until the narrative arrives at its taut, ambiguous ending. There is considerable symbolism, including the 15 bullets in the gun and the way the elevator rules parallel street rules.

Reynolds masterfully weaves in textured glimpses of the supporting characters. Throughout, readers get a vivid picture of Will and the people in his life, all trying to cope with the circumstances of their environment while expressing the love, uncertainty, and hope that all humans share. This astonishing book will generate much needed discussion. Verse fiction. According to the rules that Will has been taught, it is now his job to kill the person responsible.

At each floor, a different person gets on to tell a story. Each of these people is already dead. As they relate their tales, readers learn about the cycle of violence in which Will is caught up.

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The protagonist faces a difficult choice, one that is a reality for many young people. However, one of the scenes is so heavy that we have to hire a commercial renderfarm to process it for us. Any support you give us will help us finish the project on time and show this amazing film to the world. Let us deliver this virtual reality experience, and you shall be thanked by our entire crew, and by the audience who will get to enjoy it. And you will also be thanked in the form of Kickstarter rewards! The company we've reached out to, Gridmarkets, assures us that with the right optimization and at the right price, they will be able to render the heaviest parts of our film.

The high quality that makes this film special is the reason it requires so much computing power to render. The film has had several testing challenges arise along the way, but what is a journey or an adventure without challenges? The size of the team and the scale of the project come with their own logistical challenges.

Some people are working from literally across the world, so communication technology and project management have become a big part of our process. The technological demands that a project of this complexity also adds its own challenges. Virtual Reality is a relatively new medium that tends to cost a lot in terms of computing power as well as manpower.

But this is where the schools resources and the wizardry of our art director and other team members has been most useful!

A Long Way Down (2014) - The Fall

Finally, our crew members are busy students who are working for free and are under no contractual obligation. So managing such a large team and keeping everyone on task has been I believe a study into human behavior. Funnily, it is the same risks and challenges that made this difficult that made the collaboration that much more gratifying!

Oct 19, - Nov 18, 30 days.

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Share this project Done. Tweet Share Email. Long Way Down. Darren Yaworski. Last updated November 20, Share this project. Savannah, GA Animation. The lounge singer on the bridge in the final scene. A table at the Red Herring lounge. Colorful background characters. Detailed and stylized models for the final scene. The inside of the gangster's car!